Jasco: Eckart Zollner's 2016 Trends

Africa has plenty of room for growth, but many African markets will need to liberalise before this growth can be realised. Eckart Zollner of Jasco gives us his outlook for 2016…

Which developing or emerging markets (regions / countries) do you cover?

New Telco SA provides services predominantly in Southern African countries such as South Africa, Angola, Namibia, Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Swaziland, Lesotho, Mozambique, Tanzania and Kenya . We work in close collaboration with the Frankfurt office that provides service across Europe, Russia, Balkan countries and the US East coast. Our company is unique in that we are able to cover a single service portfolio in multiple locations across the globe from a single source.

What are your main hardware and/or services focus areas?

We assist any service provider in their international expansion. This means providing infrastructure and carrier neutral hosting locations for network operator points of presence as a service (HW leasing model) as well as engineering, remote hands service, capacity backhaul and last mile access around the point of presence on foreign territory. Our local knowledge and presence allows us to leverage savings by working most tax efficiently and provide optimal interconnect.

What are the top market and customer trends that will drive change in your area during 2016, and why?

We predict that the Growth of Mobility and Smartphone penetration (due to the cost reduction of the devices) and subsequent growth in Internet access and consumption will require network operators to look increasingly to growing regional footprint in foreign territories. As the frequency of the new technology introduction increases, operators will be forced to work more cost effectively and will be driven more and more into infrastructure sharing and infrastructure outsourcing models.

What are the solutions that will make the greatest impact in your area during 2016, and why?

The sometimes abundant availability of terrestrial and undersea fibre cables allows our clients to expand their network reach and launch new broadband services. The growing market adoption and utilisation of innovative solutions such as Video on demand, Cloud services and the Internet of things drives the need for a stable infrastructure.

What changes need to be made to speed up developments and what can hold them back?

Africa requires greater liberalisation, speedier deregulation and privatisation of our ICT markets. State-owned monopolies and delays in government deregulation programmes will hold back market development. It is important to realise that the size of a deregulated ICT market is a multi-fold of the size of a regulated monopolistic environment. Organic growth in a regulated environment is slow, whilst growth through competition and innovation in an open market environment will reach exponential expansion when compared to its monopolised neighbour.

Which technologies do you think will be most important in emerging markets in 2016?

Low‐cost smartphones - Internet penetration and usage in Africa is still very low.  The availability and greater penetration of Low cost smartphones will drive Internet access and mobile data usage, bringing more people into the digital economy. It will give governments the ability to offer solutions such as e-government, eHealth and e-education. Furthermore small and medium businesses will now have access to markets and access to information that is vital for business growth and business survival. This in turn will provide the required platform for the uplifting of the economy in emerging markets.

Eckart Zollner is the VP of Business Development at Jasco.

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